I'm a recent graduate and just completed my vacation work at one of the big Accounting firms. On Friday, they had a social/drinks which was really just to chat and network amongst the team. If you are sitting down and someone comes over to speak to you, should you remain seated or stand up, so you can be at the same eye level when they come speak to you. I'm wondering what will be good and respectful practices when this happens again

  • @JoeStrazzere but would that imply that is more professional/respectful for the person you're talking with? Jan 23, 2022 at 16:46
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    Yes, it's respectful (at least in North America) to trouble yourself to rise to greet someone. Even if you immediately invite them to sit and then sit with them. Jan 23, 2022 at 17:03
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    @JacksonParker, It is probably a good idea to watch how other employees behave and follow their lead. Most companies likely have informal environments where coworkers can interact in a relaxing manner at a vacation or social event. But, some companies may prefer a formal environment. It depends on the specific company culture. Jan 23, 2022 at 19:32
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    You need to add a location to make this at all answerable.
    – mxyzplk
    Jan 23, 2022 at 21:20
  • @mxyzplk Right! And not just country. Jan 23, 2022 at 21:48

2 Answers 2


This answer comes from a western culture perspective.

If you are at a social event, and you are sitting by yourself, and somebody comes up to you to start a conversation, you should absolutely stand up, or offer them a seat so they may sit down.

It is a bit awkward for you to be speaking with them with your head at their crotch level.

If this is a social event, you should consider not sitting down to begin with. People are going to be moving about, ultimately you want to avoid the awkwardness to begin with.

  • Agreed for a social setting it is a good idea to stand up, greet, and talk. Unless you have some sort of health issue, I would remain standing. At work though, generally if someone comes to your desk it is okay to stay seated to talk to them or at least offer them a seat if there is one.
    – Dan
    Jan 24, 2022 at 19:03

I would move to their height. So generally, stand up. If they're in a wheelchair, stay in your chair. As long as you're showing respect, you'll be OK.

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